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A lot can happen in seven years. But in Riverdale, the more things change... the more they stay exactly the same.

"Chapter Eighty-Four: Lock & Key" is the eighth episode of the fifth season of Riverdale and the eighty-fourth episode of the series overall.[2] It premiered on March 17, 2021.

Synopsis

THE QUEEN OF CHAOS STRIKES AGAIN — A big announcement forces everyone to take stock of their current lives. Cheryl sets a risky plan in motion after learning some surprising news about Toni. Jughead tries to make sense of a strange encounter he had. Kevin and Fangs make a big decision about their future together.[2]

Plot

SPOILERS AHEAD


Kevin hooks up with a trucker

Kevin hooks up with a trucker named Rick at a nearby truck-stop. When Rick introduces himself and asks for Kevin’s name, he replies "no names" and parts of ways, returning home to Toni and Fangs with milk and cereal to corral Toni’s recent cravings. Fangs notices that Kevin is acting unusual and suspects that he is nervous about the "big announcement," but Kevin insists that he’s fine.

Betty lays across her bed, waiting for Archie as he exits the bathroom wearing his firefighter uniform. He joins her on the bed, and the two proceed to kiss.

Tabitha and Jughead meet with Dr. Whitley

Jughead and Tabitha meet with Dr. Diana Whitley at Pop’s after contacting her in regards to the alleged Mothman they received from Nana Rose. Dr. Whitley is eager to examine the specimen and is disappointed to learn that it was stolen. Jughead explains that he was babysitting it when a blinding light appeared from the sky. The last thing he remembers is looking up. He woke up hours later, and the Mothman was gone. Dr. Whitley suspects Jughead is subconsciously suppressing a traumatic experience, as common with individuals who have had close encounters with extraterrestrials. Dr. Whitley offers to help Jughead and suggests that he attend her support group, but Jughead declines her offer. Should he decide otherwise, she leaves her card behind.

Betty gets a call from Sheriff Keller

Betty comes downstairs to find her mom creating macaroni art with Juniper and Dagwood. She then gets a call from Sheriff Keller, who informs Betty that they’ve found another body down at Swedlow Swamp.

Kevin approaches Fangs hoping to discuss the limits of their open relationship. Fangs interrupts Kevin, under the impression that he too would like to be monogamous. He sees what they’re about to do as a fresh start and hopes that Kevin feels the same way.

Betty arrives at Swedlow Swamp. After confirming with Dr. Curdle Jr. that the latest victim’s corpse is over a year old and therefore not Polly, Betty calls her mother to report the goods news. Alice is relieved and suspects that Polly is still alive.

Toni, Kevin, and Fangs reveals that they're having a baby

Veronica decides to remodel the apartment. Smithers offers to generate a list of potential contractors, but Veronica has already enlisted in Archie’s help. She meets with him at the school to further discuss her plans of demolition. She tells him that she needs it done as soon as possible in preparation for big changes. They are joined by Betty and Jughead, who share an awkward exchange, along with Cheryl, all having come together on Toni, Kevin, and Fangs’ behest. Kevin and Fangs announce that they’re engaged and having a baby with Toni as their surrogate mother.

Toni reveals her condition to Cheryl

After the latest revelation, Cheryl kicks in the door of Toni’s office and confronts her. Toni is seeking to step back from the Vixens and is hoping that Cheryl will fill her position. However, Cheryl is still enraged and overwhelmed by the discovery that Toni is giving birth to Kevin and Fangs’ child. Toni sought to tell Cheryl, but based on Cheryl’s recent behavior, it didn’t seem right. Toni reveals that it was her idea to carry their child. When she was a junior at Highsmith, she was diagnosed with a medical condition that makes it more difficult to get pregnant the older she gets. The doctor recommended that she have kids whilst she is young. As for why she chose Kevin and Fangs, Toni explains that she and Fangs are like family; they were initiated into the Serpents together. And when Fangs and Kevin began discussing adoption or the possibility of a surrogate mother, she volunteered. Whilst she may be having a child with Kevin and Fangs, Toni would like to pursue a relationship with Cheryl. But given recent developments, Cheryl no longer sees that as possible.

Betty reveals to Kevin that she and Archie have been casually hooking up. She explains that it’s an escape that she doesn’t want to end. However, she also doesn’t want to get in too deep with Archie in fear that her darkness will dim his light.

While Jughead discusses the themes of the novel Slaughterhouse Five, he momentarily hallucinates seeing a Mothman standing just outside the door. He begins to suspect that he’s going crazy and decides to take Dr. Whitley up on her offer to attend her support group.

Cheryl paints a portrait of Minerva

Cheryl paints a portrait of Minerva. She notes that Cheryl has a unique talent and that she needed a Cheryl Blossom original for her collection. Cheryl asks if Minerva will leave her alone once she has her picture, but Minerva has yet to decide. Cheryl replies that it ultimately doesn’t matter, as no pain can compare to that of learning that Toni is starting a family with Kevin and Fangs. Cheryl feels that Toni lured her out of the safety on her own home simply to torture Cheryl with her happiness. Minerva replies that fate has put an obstacle before Cheryl. She must either rise above it or corrupt it.

Veronica learns from Katy that Chad is on a date

Veronica gets a call from Katy Keene, who reveals that Chad has just entered Lacy's cafe with the heiress to Spiffany's fortune. Veronica suspects that Chad is looking to make her jealous, so Katy offers to pour hot coffee into his lap.

Looking to get back at Chad for his recent outing, Veronica returns to the Pembrooke, where Archie and Eric have already begun reconstructing the apartment. She suggests taking a photo to document the journey and post to her social media. Veronica and Archie then get a message from Cheryl, calling them both to the Whyte Wyrm for drinks.

Eric joins Archie at the Wyrm and inquires about his relationships with Betty and Veronica. He noticed Archie’s interactions with both. Archie insists that he and Betty are simply casual, whereas Veronica is married.

Cheryl announces her plans for a key party

Cheryl apologizes to Toni and offers to host a celebration at Thornhill for her, Kevin, and Fangs. Cheryl then gets up on top of the pool table and announces to Archie, Eric, Betty, Jughead, Tabitha, Kevin, and Veronica that she’s throwing a key party. One last hurrah to celebrate their wild misspent youth. They’ll draw keys and pair off. She strongly encourages them to act on any and all impulses.

Betty enters her room to find Polly sitting on her bed, bloody and bruised. She warns Betty that the Trash Bag Killer will find her moments before he sneaks up behind Betty and slices her throat. Betty awakens terrified, realizing that it was only a nightmare. Afraid to sleep alone, she calls Archie over for comfort.

Archie returns home the following morning and prepares breakfast for himself and Eric. Archie tells Eric how Betty called him over for emotional support as opposed to a booty call. It didn’t feel great, and Archie admits that Eric was right about his feelings towards Veronica.

Kevin asks Fangs to bring a date

While working out at the community center, Kevin proposes that Fangs invite one of his hot trucker beaus to Cheryl’s party. Fangs question why he would do that when they only just closed their relationship. Kevin admits that he’s always been curious about the company Fangs would keep while on the road. Again, Fangs questions Kevin’s sudden interest. Kevin replies that he simply thinks it would be a good idea to get every wild horny impulse out their bodies before becoming husbands and fathers.

Alice claims that she got a call from Polly

Betty returns home to find Alice sitting by the phone. She reveals that Polly called. She was hysterical and talking a mile a minute. Betty suspects that it may have been a prank, but Alice is certain it was Polly. She claimed that she couldn’t see. She was being kept somewhere and everything was medal and smooth, comparable to a spaceship. Still, Betty isn’t convinced that Polly called. She’s less convinced that Polly is even still alive, as in most of the missing persons cases, after two days, the chances of a victim being found alive are almost nothing.

Tabitha and Jughead at the support group

Tabitha decides to join Jughead at Dr. Whitley’s support group. Jughead shares his story with the group; how he was working late at Pop’s when lights from outside the window began shining into the diner. Dr. Whitley then asks him about lost time, noting that blackouts are common in supposed encounters with extraterrestrials. When she asks if he’s ever blacked out before, Jughead becomes overwhelmed with visions of an approaching Mothman and flees. Tabitha follows him out and inquires further about his blackouts. Jughead reveals that he was in New York when the blackouts first began. He was drinking, doing drugs, and partying hard. During that time, he did some things that he doesn’t remember and lost a lot of time. With that in mind, Tabitha proposes that they skip Cheryl’s party, but Jughead believes that a night of debauchery is precisely what he needs.

Veronica and Archie discuss plans for the future

Since her jewelry store remains closed, Veronica helps Archie plaster the wall in the apartment. She asks about Eric, who’s down at the VA collecting his disability. Veronica asks about his leg, which he lost on their last mission. Archie says that even with one leg, he’s never heard Eric complain. Veronica relates his strong and silent personality to that of Archie’s. She then mentions Toni, Kevin, and Fangs’ announcement, which made her take stock of her own life. She’s finally starting to realize all the things that she’s missing in life and believes that Archie feels the same. She asks what happens if they get matched at the key party. Archie admittedly isn’t sure. He then asks about Chad, who is currently on his way.

Jughead and Tabitha arrive at Cheryl’s party, with Jughead headed straight for the bar. Reggie arrives right behind them.

Kevin tells Betty about Fangs bringing a date

Betty inquires about Fangs, who Kevin reveals is bringing a date. Betty wonders why Kevin would ask that of him. Kevin replies that maybe he wanted to see what Fangs was giving up for him. Or maybe he wanted to see if Fangs would go through with it and bring someone. Ultimately, Kevin settles on him being an emotional masochist.

Chad approaches Archie at the party and asks how is it that in a podunk town like Riverdale, all the woman are so hot. Archie doesn’t reply, simply choosing to walk away rather than engage.

Fangs arrives with his date — Rick. Unbeknownst to Fangs, Kevin and Rick have a past of hooking up but pretend to be strangers for the night. Kevin becomes nervous and goes to get a drink.

Cheryl and Minerva watch from afar as Fangs introduces his date to the others. Cheryl replies that he’ll unfortunately be collateral damage.

Cheryl's key party

Cheryl gathers the guests, happy to see that they’ve all decided to attend, meaning that they share the impending crush of true adulthood — their 30s. She says that tonight’s key party is a bold rejection of death and reveals the house rules. Whatever happens must be completely consensual, and because they’re all a progressive, fluid, and inclusive group, there will be no redrawing of keys. But the main rule is that they will be free to do whatever they desire. It’s essentially a free pass. Veronica draws first from the bowl. She picks up Archie’s keys, but Chad refuses to allow her to go off with Archie and grabs her arm. Archie demands that Chad unhand Veronica and treat her with respect. Veronica refuses to allow them to fight over her. So, she grabs Chad’s keys from the bowl and leaves. Cheryl attempts to stop them, but Veronica and Chad proceed. A drunk Jughead volunteers to draw next, though he can barely make it to Cheryl without stumbling. Tabitha tries to argue that he's too drunk, but Cheryl refuses to allow him to leave before drawing keys. As it so happens, he grabs Tabitha’s keys and she takes him home. Cheryl calls Eric up and he draws Minerva’s keys. She asks him how well he is at following orders and leads him away. Before the pickings get too slim, Reggie draws Fangs’ keys. Reggie proceeds to kiss Fangs and lead him away, stating that they’ll see what happens. Kevin is up next and grabs Rick’s keys. Betty follows up and leaves with Archie after drawing his keys. All that remains is Cheryl and Toni.

Cheryl has created a nursery for Toni's baby

Toni suspects that Cheryl merely arranged the party with the sole intent of getting her alone. Cheryl reveals to Toni that she has a gift: a nursery for her child. She explains that it’s a place where they can be together, with or without Kevin and Fangs, depending on whether or not they survive tonight’s festivities. Toni now realizes that Cheryl staged the evening to break up Kevin and Fangs. All these years, Cheryl has been compelled to restore Thornhill without truly ever understanding why. Now she sees that all her efforts were to make a sanctuary for Toni’s child. However, Toni refuses to raise her child in a "house of horrors." Toni refuses to be trapped at Thornhill as she was at Thistlehouse. She wanted to have a normal relationship with Cheryl, but clearly that was a mistake. She apologizes to Cheryl for leading her and leaves.

Kevin and Rick discuss his relationship with Fangs

Rick asks how long Kevin and Fangs have been together. Kevin replies that they’re nearing eight years, open for the last three. Rick is routing for them. He says that Fangs is a keeper and that he’ll make a good dad. Kevin wonders if Fangs ever mentioned him when he was with Rick, which he didn’t.

Tabitha carries Jughead homes and lays him on the couch. He drunkenly asks her if she thinks he truly had a close encounter with aliens. She isn’t sure, but she does think that there is something from his past that he’s trying to avoid dealing with involving his blackouts. She advises him to seek professional help. She then covers him up with a blanket and leaves.

Kevin tells Fangs that he doesn't want to get married

Kevin returns home to find Fangs eating a bowl of cereal. He says that Reggie is 100% straight despite their kiss. Kevin reveals that while nothing happened tonight between him and Rick, he’s also not ready to be married. Fangs is visibly upset. He reminds Kevin of the baby they're supposed to be having with Toni and how it was Kevin that pushed for them getting married and starting a family. Kevin admits that it’s not right and apologizes.

Archie and Betty decide to be friends

Archie sits with Betty, questioning their relationship. In a moment of transparency, Archie reveals that he still has feelings for Veronica. Betty replies that she and Archie should make since, him being the All American boy and her being the girl next door, but they’re such different people at their core, and she doesn’t want her darkness to overtake Archie. What’s coming next with her mom and Polly is probably going to be the darkest thing she’s ever faced. And she’d like for Archie to be there at her side, but as a friend. To be her window of light in the dark.

Chad questions if Veronica invited him to Riverdale solely to make him jealous. Veronica explains that this is not the case. While Cheryl’s party may have been ill-advised, it confirmed something she had been feeling for a long time.

Jughead is startled by a Mothman

Jughead exits the shower and is startled by the reflection of a Mothman in the mirror.

Minerva is more than pleased with Cheryl’s portrait of her. She says that Cheryl made her beautiful because she is beautiful. Minerva then proceeds to kiss Cheryl.

Archie and Veronica kiss

Veronica finds Archie cleaning off the fire truck. Veronica reveals that she and Chad are getting a divorce. Admittedly, Archie was devastated when he discovered that she was married, but the pain he felt was nothing compared to when he saw that she was unhappy. As Veronica inches closer, Archie reveals to Veronica that he and Betty have hooked up a couple times since returning to Riverdale. Veronica suspected as much and says that she’s not concerned with the past. She’s only interested in the present. Archie and Veronica then share a kiss.

Betty and Alice find the phone booth Polly called from

Betty and Alice get a call from a frantic Polly. She’s in need of help and trapped in the middle of nowhere. She ran as far as she could. All she knows for certain is that she’s somewhere on the Lonely Highway and that they’re coming for her. Betty hangs up with Polly and goes searching for her along with Alice. They pull up to a completely demolished phone booth covered in blood. They call out for Polly, but she’s nowhere to be found.

Cast

Starring

Guest Starring

Co-Starring

Soundtrack

  • Glass Animals - Dreamland
  • The Filthy Souls - Boys Will Be Out for a Fight
    • Scene: Eric asks Archie about his relationships with Betty and Veronica. / Cheryl apologizes to Toni and offers to throw a party.
  • Mob Rich - Everything and Nothing
    • Scene: The guests arrive for Cheryl's key party.
  • Katie Garfield - Carry Me
    • Scene: Archie and Veronica kiss.

Trivia

Gallery

Promotional Images

Screencaps

Videos

References

Episode Guide

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